Immigrant visa applicants will now be permitted to specify their own gender identity on forms, even if it does not match the gender identity shown on their supporting documents.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the policy update on Friday, adding that immigrants do not need to submit proof of their gender identity when requesting a change to their gender marker unless they are submitting Form N-565, used to apply for a replacement naturalization certificate or citizenship document.
Currently, only two genders are available on immigration forms — “Male” (M) and “Female” (F), but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it is working towards introducing an additional gender marker (“X”) for unspecified genders soon.
DHS first called for public input in April 2021 to gather insights on the obstacles that applicants face during the immigration process.
Responders said the requirement to include proof of gender changes were making it harder to apply for visas and citizenship, the agency said in a statement.